The Class of 2017 sat beneath sunshine and a bright blue sky for the very last time as Locust Valley High School students. Donned in the traditional green and white graduation caps and gowns, they were all smiles as they were celebrated for their numerous accomplishments.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund addressed the graduates and guests, reminding them of all this class has achieved. The accolades include students becoming AP scholars, earning IB diplomas, becoming National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists and more than one in four of the graduates earning Advanced Regents Diplomas with Honors. The seniors helped the high school become a New York State Reward School for the sixth consecutive year and a School of Distinction with every athletic team earning a GPA of 90 or better. As a group, the seniors earned more than $9.5 million in scholarships from colleges, universities and the generosity of more than 40 community organizations.

Dr. Hunderfund added that the class deserved credit for “developing into 161 individuals with unique talents, abilities, interests and beliefs and the ability to express them with respect, dignity and tremendous poise and confidence.”
LVHS Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire said the members of the Class of 2017 are special. “Each class leaves a legacy – the Class of 2017 has left a noteworthy legacy of civility in discourse, of kind, respectful and mature behavior toward each other, toward staff members and toward young students.”

Board of Education President Erika Bruno used art as a metaphor for the future that lies ahead for the graduates. “You have a blank canvas on which you can paint in any colors and styles that you choose.”

Twins Nicholas and Matthew Rizzo earned the distinction of Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2017. In separate speeches, they each acknowledged their appreciation for their classmates, teachers and all of the support staff.

“I would just like to say it has been my pleasure learning alongside all of you,” said  Valedictorian Nicholas Rizzo. “Let us not forget about all the wonderful and inspirational teachers we have had in Locust Valley High School who were always there when we needed extra help or struggled with a particular topic.”

In his salutatory address, Matthew said, “My achievements would not have been possible without the support, mutual respect, and admiration of you, my fellow students.  It was to elevate the prestige of Locust Valley that I pushed myself in all tasks I set myself to, and it was the dedication I felt to this community which kept me focused throughout all of high school.”

Congratulations and good luck to the incredible Class of 2017!